The India Under-19 team is scheduled to tour Sri Lanka for a lengthy period wherein they will play two four-day games followed by five one-dayers. Aryan Juyal, the captain of the India U-19 one-day team spoke exclusively to India TV before embarking on the tour which starts on 17th July.
Aryan spoke about how he is looking at the opportunity to captain India just after a few months of winning the U-19 World Cup. "These days U-19 cricket is highlighted a lot and I feel privileged to have been chosen to lead the one-day team. U-19 cricket is an opportunity to showcase your talent to everyone thus clearing the path for international cricket. I want to grab this great opportunity with both hands," he said.
Though Juyal was part of the India U-19 squad which won the World Cup earlier this year, he watched most of the tournament from the bench as it was difficult to find a slot in the playing XI in a talented Indian side. In Aryan's opinion, the upcoming Sri Lanka tour presents a big opportunity for him both as a batsman and captain to impress the national selectors.
"In Sri Lanka, the wickets are going to be similar to those we find at home in India so the focus is on executing our plans and doing the basics right. I will try to give my absolute best during the tour," said the wicket-keeper batsman.
On the issue of whether the added responsibility of captaining the side will affect his performance, Aryan said, "If I see it as stressful it will definitely affect my performance. But since I shall be looking at it purely as an opportunity to repay the faith of the selectors in me, it should yield better results."
When asked about what he does to stay focussed and motivated towards cricket at such a young age, the 16-year-old said, "I practice meditation every morning which also helps me in controlling my breathing. This is important because controlling your breathing helps in maintaining focus which is always handy when you're under pressure.
"I also practice for 7-8 hours daily by simulating prospective match-situations as I believe that if you have undergone such situations many times during practice it becomes a lot easier to repeat it in actual pressure situations in a match."
When asked about his background, Aryan revealed that he originally belongs from Haldwani, Uttarakhand but plays domestic cricket for Uttar Pradesh. "I bat in the upper middle order. Being brought up on matting wickets in Uttarakhand, I prefer playing on bouncy tracks and the straight drive and square cut are my favourite cricket shots," he said.
Aryan also said that batting great Sachin Tendulkar is his idol but he keeps learning different traits from different players. "I have always idolised Sachin Tendulkar for maintaining his dignity and the ability to stay away from controversies. But I have also learned simplicity from Rahul Dravid sir, aggressive instinct from Virat Kohli, calmness from MS Dhoni and hard working mindset from Cristiano Ronaldo," added Aryan.
He concluded by asking the Indian fans to keep supporting the colts and wished for a whitewash of the opposition during the Sri Lankan tour.